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Old 06-06-2008, 16:07   #1
SIMON ADEBISI
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Books to be age certified!!!

http://www.melonfarmers.co.uk/news.h..._of_Literature

Link is nsfw

What lemon came up with this? I wonder will it be only an advisory thing like the PEGI ratings for games.
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Old 06-06-2008, 16:11   #2
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don't see a problem, be useful to know whether a book is kid safe or is an "adult" one. Or books like Maxmimum ride (james patterson) which were adult aimed and are now kids aimed.

sure it will just be advisory anyway.
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Old 06-06-2008, 16:22   #3
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So what age rating would, for example, a book like 'The Canterbury Tales' get? Used extensively in schools at GCSE level and probably worthy of an '18' for language and situation.

I seem to recall that 'Lady Chatterley's Lover' is 'A' level material too.

They've not thought this through have they?
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Old 06-06-2008, 16:28   #4
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I wasn't really watching but one problem pointed out on TV this morning was that there are too many people already who dont read and classifying age ranges is just an extra obstacle making them more embarrassed and less likely to read anything at all if they cant read a book targetted at their age range.

The opponents to the idea were happy for books to be stocked by age range just not for the books themselves to have an age listed on them.
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Old 06-06-2008, 16:38   #5
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I fully support a plan for age ratings on books.

The topic to this thread is misleading, as this is not the same as certification.

It's simply a guide so people know what sort of level it's at. Ones aimed at younger kids will be easier reads, while one aimed at older kids will have bigger words, and also perhaps more violence and shagging.

There's absolutely no obligation for people to only read books from their level only.

I don't think it will at all put people off reading.

The people it will help most are parents and adults buying books for children, as it'll give them an at-a-glance insight as to whether the book may be suitable for their kid or not. To be clear; it's an advisory aid, *not* a restriction.
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Old 06-06-2008, 16:38   #6
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I wonder, does this also mean like faceparty, if you are over 36 you can't read certain types of books.
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Old 06-06-2008, 16:42   #7
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I don't think this is a problem as long as it's just an advisory (I can't access the link above from work so not sure what the exact proposals are).

The point raised above (which I guess is less literate adults reading children's books?) is an interesting one but if you draw the comparisons with films, or even games as stated by the OP, it doesn't mean I would never go and see a PG or U. The rating is just for the minimum age suggested due to content and themes, not as a mark of how advanced a reader you are. Given the cover of a clearly aimed children's book is going to be obvious I wouldn't say a small rating on the back/spine is a big deal.
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Old 06-06-2008, 16:48   #8
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Why do bodies and associations just assume everyone needs some kind of guideline for them to make it through life? Christ can't parents just be responsible and/or knowledgeable or is that concept too hard to grasp these days?

Last edited by Oggie; 06-06-2008 at 16:55.
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Old 06-06-2008, 16:52   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ac View Post
I don't think this is a problem as long as it's just an advisory (I can't access the link above from work so not sure what the exact proposals are).
As far as I'm aware, the ratings will be advisory ratings. Those arguing against them (and the Guardian) are extrapolating the 'bad' side of the ratings to extreme degrees in order to make their point. When, really, they can ignore them. So why worry?
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Old 06-06-2008, 16:52   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oggie View Post
Why do people just assume everyone needs some kind of guideline for everything to make it through life? Christ can't parents just be responsible or is that concept too hard to grasp these days?
Can't parents be assisted in their responsible parenting, or is that concept too hard to grasp?
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Old 06-06-2008, 17:01   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajr90 View Post
The people it will help most are parents and adults buying books for children, as it'll give them an at-a-glance insight as to whether the book may be suitable for their kid or not. To be clear; it's an advisory aid, *not* a restriction.
You mean unlike the shelving systems in bookshops labelled with the obviously totally incomprehensibe signage of 'Teenagers' etc?

Basing it on age is mindless. For a start, children mature at totally different rates. My 14 year old reads some books aimed at adults as well as books written for his own age range. In addition, a system based on cinema ages is far too coarse to truly reflect the huge changes that occur between the ages of 12 and 15.

At the other end, my wife teaches year 9s with reading ages of 5 year olds. They have enough difficulty without having to read books with a '5' printed on them which would effectively be a licence to be mocked and belittled by other children.

If there has to be any rating system at all, it should be based on grammatical & lexical complexity.
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Old 06-06-2008, 17:02   #12
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How utterly ******* pointless.
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Old 06-06-2008, 17:06   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajr90 View Post
Can't parents be assisted in their responsible parenting, or is that concept too hard to grasp?
I think the wording on the BBFC website best sums up the difficulty of categorisation and why I don't think this would actually be of any help other than to encourage lazy parenting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbfc website
It is impossible to predict what might upset any particular child.
I'm inclined to think this is even more true when it comes to literature.

Cert 15 - Contains nudity.

Last edited by Oggie; 06-06-2008 at 17:09.
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Old 06-06-2008, 17:09   #14
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Wish I was more literary when I was younger. Would've been funny to do a school book report on American Psycho.
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Old 06-06-2008, 17:12   #15
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A parent who finds their teenage son reading a book should be delighted and proud whether it's by JK Rowling, Richard Laymon or Belle De Jour IMO (and when I was a boy the only one I'd not have looked twice at was JK Rowling)

Last edited by Ol' Blue Eyes; 06-06-2008 at 17:12.
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Old 06-06-2008, 17:20   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pkr View Post
You mean unlike the shelving systems in bookshops labelled with the obviously totally incomprehensibe signage of 'Teenagers' etc?
Shelving books like that is good. We shelve books similarly at the library (Young readers, 11+, teens). I don't see the harm in supplementing it with age ratings, though. Lots of people buy books from supermarkets now, where children's books aren't organised, so they'd appreciate ratings there.

Whether supermarkets *should* be selling books is another matter.

Quote:
Basing it on age is mindless. For a start, children mature at totally different rates. My 14 year old reads some books aimed at adults as well as books written for his own age range.
As I said, though, the intention is for the ages to be an advisory, not strictly enforced. And if you know your kid can read those books from the higher ranges, more power to him! I was a precocious reader myself; I was reading my Enid Blyton's alone from the age of three, Tolkein at 7, and the Bourne books at 13, to name some examples. I never felt that I had to follow any ages the books were 'supposed' to be read at, but having children's, teen, and adult books meant that when I got bored reading at one level, I just stepped up to the next one. The principle's the same with these age ratings, there's nothing to stop someone moving up through them at their own pace. Or ignoring them totally, even.

Quote:
At the other end, my wife teaches year 9s with reading ages of 5 year olds. They have enough difficulty without having to read books with a '5' printed on them which would effectively be a licence to be mocked and belittled by other children.
I don't hold with that argument. Not least because when I was at school, I got mocked and belittled by other children for reading books. Apparently this was too nerdy an activity to be cool.

In any case, kids know who remedial readers are whether or not they have a number on their books, so I don't think it'll make any difference there.

Quote:
If there has to be any rating system at all, it should be based on grammatical & lexical complexity.
An age rating, people know. A rating on grammatical and lexical complexity would confuse people who don't know what the levels mean. Say, a maiden aunt buying a book for a young nephew. With an age on, she's got a chance on picking something appropriate. A rating based on other criteria may just baffle her.

The bottom line is, these ratings aren't supposed to be there to prevent kids from reading unsuitable things. They're to help parents and other adults make informed choices. And if I were a parent, I'd be delighted to have them to guide me.
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Old 06-06-2008, 17:24   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKPiggott View Post
Wish I was more literary when I was younger. Would've been funny to do a school book report on American Psycho.
I tried to read American Psycho when I was younger, but my mother kept hiding it from me - the only book she ever did so with, incidentally. I thought it was because she objected to the content and thought she should protect my fragile little mind from it.

Years later I finally read it, and it was a ******* awful book. I think she was just trying to protect me from bad literature instead.
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Old 06-06-2008, 17:27   #18
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I was a big reader when i was younger and read a lot of books that could be considered unsuitable but they helped plant a love of reading in me that books aimed solely at my age group might not have done.
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Old 06-06-2008, 17:31   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajr90 View Post
An age rating, people know. A rating on grammatical and lexical complexity would confuse people who don't know what the levels mean. Say, a maiden aunt buying a book for a young nephew. With an age on, she's got a chance on picking something appropriate.
Not at all, any kind of rating would have to be based on the lowest common denominator. I read loads as a kid and, would imagine anyone else who reads similarly is going to be reading way beyond what their peers who don't read at all can manage.

I think this should be a far more pressing issue than worry about trying to implement siome kind of crazy ratings system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BBC News
In England, 56% of adults have literacy skills below the level of a good GCSE while for maths the figure is 75%.

Last edited by Oggie; 06-06-2008 at 17:33.
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Old 06-06-2008, 17:39   #20
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I wonder, does this also mean like faceparty, if you are over 36 you can't read certain types of books.
That will definitely kill off the book forum then
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